The UK has plenty of famous beaches, with bustling promenades, iconic piers and more fish and chip shops than you could possibly ever need – but it’s also got some less well known finds.
One such seaside resort is on the Suffolk coast, often wrongly dismissed as just a shipping port – but it’s just been ranked by Which? as better than Blackpool, Newquay and other big name beaches, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
Felixstowe is a town with charm, history, good food and – almost most importantly – quiet beaches, both of the sand and pebble variety.
A two-hour train ride from Liverpool Street station, or a 90 minute drive from areas of North East London, its the perfect place for a relaxing day trip or a leisurely long weekend away.
The area is often split into the old and new town, with both offering some pretty sites and lots of places to eat and drink.
Old Felixstowe is a place for the past, with incredible Edwardian homes standing tall, rising from the seafront, pastel coloured beach huts lined up across the pebbles and even some rarely seen rockery gardens.
Walk further along the coast and you’ll find a golf course and a Martello tower.
If you’re in to your history you should know that one of the major hotels – now a retirment home – was where the infamous Wallis Simpson stayed while waiting for her divorce to pass, so she could finally marry Edward VIII.
Not far away you’ll find a plaque memorialising the women who burnt down the Bath Hotel – suffragettes Evalina Burkitt and the Florence Tunks.
If you’re looking for more of a traditional beach experience stay in the ‘new’ area of town, which features a pier, sandy beach and some fabulous places to try out seafood and locally brewed beer, Adnams’ Southwold.
In a piece for the Guardian, writing about her home town, Hayley Long said: “As a teenager, I looked out of my bedroom window and saw shipping containers.
“It’s only as a visitor that I’ve come to appreciate Felixstowe for the vibrant and very diverse place that it is and, finally, I recognise the grace and prettiness which was right under my teenage nose all along.”
She also quoted a description of the town from a 1914 travel guide: “There is in Felixstowe and its surroundings, a combination of grace, prettiness and interest which lingers pleasantly in the memory when the visitor returns to regions less captivating.”
Sounds like a lovely place to get a B&B for the weekend.